Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ten: aim high


I had a much better night - didn't keep myself awake coughing! - and this morning I did some thinking before I got out of bed.

The food plan I am on (designed to fix blood sugar levels) is quite strict and prescriptive, and I often fall short of perfection. You could argue (I don't mean you personally, but it seemed odd to use "one could argue") that it would be better to try a more flexible plan that is easier to stick too. Some people like to aim so low that they cannot fail, then they can build on that good feeling. But I prefer to aim high. Then even when I have slips and stumbles, I still achieve high.

It's like if I was still at school and doing regular tests and quizzes. Should I plan to get 50% and then be happy with that because I hit my goal? Or perhaps fail to achieve even that goal, as I might if I was being so casual about it? No! I aim for 100% and try hard. But when I get 90% I'm still happy. I'm not perfect, and that is a good score. Not getting 100% every day doesn't mean I've failed.

That doesn't mean I can aim for 90% as being more realistic. I still have to aim for 100% to get 90%.

I am losing weight on this diet. I need to keep aiming for perfection, but being ok with getting a few things wrong.

The other thought that followed on for this is that life is not pass/fail. A healthy diet is not pass/fail. You CAN fail a diet if you repeatedly eat all the stuff you shouldn't. But a few mistakes is not an automatic F for the whole diet, or the rest of your life. Maybe I got an A on Monday and Tuesday and a C yesterday. I didn't plunge into binging and I still ate healthy food for two of my meals.

Moving on to today, while eating my healthy breakfast I read an article in New Scientist about whether or not we need breakfast. The answer seemed to be "maybe"! If you eat breakfast, you eat more in total over the whole day, but you also move more. If you don't eat breakfast, you eat a little more at lunch time but not enough to compensate, and you unconsciously move around less so burn off less calories. Breakfast or no breakfast had no effect on weight loss. They suggested that if you were going to be very sedentary and didn't need to think much, like sitting on a plane all morning, then it would be fine to skip breakfast. But children didn't do as well at school without breakfast, so you might need it as brain food. And eating breakfast seemed to help future diabetes outcomes. Overall it sounded like it's better to eat breakfast.

But what should we be eating for breakfast? The idea of cereal being a healthy start to the day, and later of bacon and eggs making a great breakfast, were from marketing campaigns (Mr Kellogg and the pork industry respectively) so have little basis in reality. The article just said that more study was needed on this part. I'm sticking to protein plus fruit/veges.

What I ate today:
B: roast beef, cucumber, tea (back to no sugar).
L: half a steak, roast vegetables.
S: cheese and cashews.
D: spicy chicken, broccoli, cucumber.

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